Conway's Game of Life is a "cellular automaton" that is played on a 2D grid (array) of cells. At the start of the game, an initial configuration is set up in which a number of cells are considered to be alive, while the remainder of the cells are considered to be dead.
The game of life proceeds in discrete steps called generations. In each generation, some of the cells will change from dead to alive, and vice-versa, according to specific rules. The rules are based on the neighborhood of 8 cells surrounding each cell, and are given as follows:
1. Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population.
2. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation.
3. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding.
4. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.
In this assignment, you will implement Conway's game of life. Like Mine Sweeper, this is a good project for working with 2D arrays, and also will give you some experience reading text files, as well as some simple GUI programming.
1. Write a program that will play Conway's game of life.
2. The program must take the name of an input text file as user input somehow.
3. Input files will contain a first line stating the resolution of the life array, and then a number of lines giving the initial configuration of the array. (An "X" character is considered to be alive, and other characters are considered to be dead.) Your program must be able to handle life arrays of different sizes specified in an input file.
4. Your program must handle "toroidal addressing" for the edges of the array. In other words, the left and right sides of the life array must be connected, as well as the top and bottom.
5. You should display your life game in a GUI window. There are several ways to do this. One would be to have your application extend JFrame, and then use JLabels for each of the cells in a GridLayout.
6. Provide a way for the user to specify the rate at which generations occur (for example, by using a Timer).
7. Optional: Create a few interesting input files for your program.